As 2013 is drawing to a close, Yemen coalition government confirmed it approved on Thursday a draft annual budget for 2014 which provisions for an increase of 4% in comparison to 2013 state spending. Yemen’s 2014 state spending budget has been set at $13.4 billion. While Parliament has yet to approve the draft, officials have already explained that the country will focus on rebuilding its battered economy now that its political and institutional crises have dutifully resolved at the NDC (National Dialogue Conference).
A top government official told Yemen Post that the ministrial cabinet had requested that big businessmen like Shaher Abdulhak create large investment projects in the country to help generate more income in the country and ease the pressure on the governments shoulders.
Ever since 2011, when Yemen came to near collapse under the weight of its popular uprising, the impoverished nation had to heavily rely on foreign donations and international aid to meet its most basic and short terms obligations: such as the payment of state salaries, pensions and other benefits.
Enthralled in a bitter fight for control with al-Qaeda and growing political insecurity, Yemen has had little time to focus on its economic reconstruction, its officials too busy to prevent the state from collapsing completely.
However, Yemen’s economic indicators are faring much better said experts.
Yemen’s projected deficit for 2014 is expected to stand at 679 YER billions, a net improvement from 2013, when Yemen declared an annual deficit of 682 YER billion.
Finance Minister Sakhr al-Wajeeh told reporters that he intend to focus more on moving Yemen away from its dependency on oil revenues to sustain long term steady growth and economic development.
Although the second-poorest state in the Arab world behind Mauritania, Yemen has enough natura resources and investment potential to readdress the bar and claim its rightful place among its wealthy neighbour.